29 May 2020 • Lauren Grace Morris
What will become of the shared work table?
It’s been a while since many of us have joined around the collective work table. Team meetings and collaborations have shifted to teleconferencing platforms, and the reality is that some people will not return to their physical workplace this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, others are beginning to safely reconvene their offices, with employers adopting health and safety measures to ensure that people feel confident coming back.
In these circumstances, it’s unlikely that workers will be quick to gather in large groups to brainstorm and discuss. But that doesn’t mean the shared work table isn’t still an essential space in the office. Spanish company Andreu World builds designs that can accommodate a variety of work set-ups in these changing times, be they individual or communal (at a distance). High, conference and occasional tables are all part of their offer – each can be equipped with custom options to fit the specific needs of workforces.
Designers including the likes of Lievore Altherr Molina, Piergiorgio Cazzaniga and Patricia Urquiola have collaborated with Andreu World to devise the manufacturer’s latest workspace-friendly tables. Aesthetically, the choices are limitless: a rich palette of materials and finishes complement any office environment. The versatile Extra High by Molina is able to be clad in tabletops ranging from wood to lacquer to Carrara marble and more. It can also be adjusted in height, making it suitable for many different uses and users. Born from the successful Nuez seating, Urquiola’s minimalistic, circular Nuez table collection illustrates another bonus of turning to Andreu World for workplace furniture: their wide range of sizes.
And a slew of technical capabilities add function to form when it comes to Andreu World products. Such is the case with Estudio Andreu’s architectural Status meeting tables, furniture fitted with technologies that effectively make the pieces flexible and adaptable, like wire management systems, integrated connection and USB and QI charging. Cazzaniga’s robust Reverse Conference Wood boasts like functionalities, ideal for long brainstorm sessions and intimate conversations between smaller groups. An accompanying occasional table can be paired with the main piece. Estudio Andreu's 'smart' Radial Conference is ideal for those who need to do a little bit of everything in a day – it can be used as an individual or shared work station, and can host conferences or benching.
A mark of evolution among the in-house Estudio Andreu team, the Element table is the result of joining forces with Gensler’s product design minds. Sleek square, rectangular and round surfaces atop tubular table bases can be arranged in unison, creating a sense of appealing geometry in the office. ‘The idea of evolution is a fundamental element of our work,’ explains a spokesperson for Andreu World, ‘both in the production and in the development of new designs.’ And luckily so, as forward-looking solutions are precisely what we need in the workplace now.